“The coronavirus pandemic has posed a special challenge for scientists: Figuring out how to make sense of a flood of scientific papers from labs and scientists unfamiliar to them.
“More than 6,000 coronavirus-related preprints from researchers around the world have been posted since the pandemic began, without the usual peer review as a quality check. Some are poor quality, while others, including papers from China from early in the course of the epidemic, contain vital information.
“It takes a large investment of attention and effort to really dig deeply into a manuscript to scrutinize the methods, the claims and the relationship between the methods and the claims
“In the case of the hydroxychloroquine study… the reported results had veered significantly from their previously stated experimental plan. “Those struck me as a lot of major red flags…It probably took me something between 15 minutes and 30 minutes to come to the conclusion that this paper wasn’t worth the time of day. Sure enough, the promise of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment eventually crumbled, as several larger studies failed to show any benefit.
“One way researchers are working to overcome bias is by coming together to form international research teams... Motivated by a desire to address “a common threat to humanity”
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